Cancer sufferer urges calm after warning

AN Ipswich cancer sufferer today urged women not to panic after fresh warnings that undergoing breast screening could result in unnecessary treatment.Jackie Calver, of Orwell Road, said she wished she could have been screened sooner as an earlier mammogram may have caught her breast cancer and prevented it spreading.

AN Ipswich cancer sufferer today urged women not to panic after fresh warnings that undergoing breast screening could result in unnecessary treatment.

Jackie Calver, of Orwell Road, said she wished she could have been screened sooner as an earlier mammogram may have caught her breast cancer and prevented it spreading.

Her words came after the publication of a new study by researchers at the Nordic Cochrane Centre which suggested thousands of women in Britain endure potentially devastating and unnecessary treatment because of screening.

Mrs Calver, 48, who is just about to embark on her sixth course of chemotherapy to treat the breast cancer which has now spread to her liver, said: “Everything has a risk, including having an x-ray or a mammogram, but my cancer wasn't caught until I was 42 and I wish I'd been able to be screened from 40 which might have meant I wouldn't have gone through everything I have.

“So I think screening is really important and my gut feeling as a patient is that despite the worries women should go ahead.”

The study, which prompted a leading doctor to call into question whether or not the NHS breast screening programme should continue, also said around 10 per cent of women who have mammograms experience anxiety because of 'false positive' findings - the discovery of cell changes that later turned out to be benign.

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But a spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital added: “We have a very successful screening programme in Suffolk and we target people who evidence has shown are most at risk.

“A mammogram is one of a whole range of diagnostic producers. Lots of women have one every week and while nothing is found it does give assurance.”

Weblink: www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/breastscreen

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